So far, Ellie’s sleep schedule has been the main event of our visit in Japan.  I don’t think either of us will feel like we are really here, or able to enjoy the sights until Ellie is more adjusted.  So Aya reached out to a friend who’s traveled to Japan many times with her kids for some advice on how to cope.  The advice was to skip Ellie’s nap.  What!?  Skip a nap!?  Are you crazy!?  It kind of made sense, but it also frightened me.  Her major freak outs have occurred from being over-tired.  Skipping a nap seemed like adding fuel to the fire.  But giving her a nap didn’t work, so this was worth a shot.  But before we dropped it all together, I figured we’d try letting her have a catnap in her stroller for a little bit, just to take the edge off.  So that was our plan.

Other than Aya and I feeling like we were beaten with a sack of doorknobs all night, the morning went pretty well.  Ellie ate well, we ate well, and she was active and happy.  I took her to the grocery store to buy socks, and we hung out in the courtyard area where she was the greeter for the building for a little bit.  “Hi!… I mean, Konnichiwa!”

After lunch, we knew she was getting to her hyper tired mode and being cooped up inside wasn’t going to help.  Luckily, there is a small park not too far away where we could let her shake her sillies out and then we could take her for a walk.

She played and ran for awhile and before she had a meltdown she asked to get back in the stroller.  We went on a long walk down by the river and through the neighborhood.  She fell asleep for about 30 minutes.  The real test would be when we got her back upstairs and took her out of the stroller.  Would she wake up a demon again? Or become a sweet playful angel?

When we reached the front door, her eyes opened a little and she rubbed them.  We looked at her cautiously not really knowing what to say and not wanting to jinx her calm awakening.  When she saw grandma-chan she smiled and ran into the living room and started to color.  Phew.  There was hope.

She went to bed around 8:30pm only with a slight fight.  She was standing in her crib crying and screaming but falling asleep at the same time.  “WAAA!  I don’t want to go to sleep!”  Her head would nod off and her legs would buckle, and then resume.  “Oh yeah, I don’t want to go to…”  And then she eventually fell asleep.

We were woken up by her at 1am again, however this time, she fell back asleep after being awake for only 45 minutes.  And slept until 6am.  6am!  That’s progress!  What a sigh of relief.

I think we all feel hopeful and confident that things will be even better tonight.

Now enough of this whining about sleep business, and let’s get this party started and start enjoying this trip!


  1. Matt, I hope things go more smoothly from here on out. And here I’m worried about flying to Mexico with an 18 month old. Please let me know how you kept Ellie occuupied for the 12 hour flight! Did you guys buy her a seat or have her sit on your lap?

    1. We used stickers, a new toy, , walking up and down the aisles, headphones worked for about 2 minutes. I wish I had a portable dvd player to show her yo gabba gabba. that may have worked… we had her sit in our laps… her own seat might have been more comfortable for everyone, but I went with the cheaper option. if the flight was shorter, it would have been much more manageable…

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